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Climb Pigeon House Mountain (Didthul)

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by Heidi McElnea (subscribe)
When I'm not out and about you'll find me working from home, deep in the bushland of Sydney's infamous Galston Gorge. My virtual home is Come and find out what else I've been up to.
Published June 12th 2012
Winter is an ideal time to tackle bushwalks that might seem a little too hard core for summer. It's a great way to warm up, too.

Climbing up Pigeon House Mountain, or Didthul, is such a trek. Located in the Budawang Range in Morton National Park, the walk up this curiously shaped mountain is not particularly long or difficult but be warned; the initial incline is a bit of a killer.

A few hours south of Sydney and due west of both Milton and Ulladulla, Pigeon House Mountain is accessible via fairly sound forest tracks which would usually not require the oomph of a four wheel drive. It is also accessible from the western side via nearby Braidwood. A carpark with covered picnic tables and a toilet is provided at the trackhead.

When sailing along the coastline in 1770, Captain Cook spotted in this mountain and was reminded of the square, domed roof bird houses he'd seen back in England. More obviously, and less prudishly, the mountain has been compared to a woman's breast. It is believed that this is the meaning of its traditional name, 'Didthul'.
As the mountain casts it's shadow below, it is easy to see why it is called 'woman's breast.'

Walkers will enjoy passing through a variety of plant communities on their way up and down the mountain including Black Ash, the rare Pigeon House Ash as well as sandy heathland. Superb Lyrebirds may be seen and heard on the ascent while friendly rock warblers may greet you at the summit.

Allow around four hours for the return trip. Care needs to be taken on the impressive sets of steel stairs and ladders that take walkers to the summit. Hold on, particularly if the day is windy! Scaling the tier provides a good chance to challenge those mid weight height phobias.

Hold on!
Some of the steep stairs on the last leg.
Tom Brennan 2002-2009

360 degree views from the top take in an extensive view of the Budawang Range and vast valleys. The Clyde river and its tributaries can be seen snaking along the valley floor, where it has carved out great gorges. Plateaux such as 'The Castle' and 'Byangee Walls' rise impressively to the north-west, and the southern view stretches all the way to Mount Dromedary. Natural rock sculptures and caves makes for interesting exploration.

Rock formations at the top
Stunning views from the top include fascinating rocks and caves.

Heading out of the park and onto Clyde Ridge Road in Morton, you may be tempted to stop at the 'Pigeon House Tea Rooms' which is reopening at the time of writing.
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Why? Climb up and warm up
Where: Mid South Coast, NSW
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Thanks for the heads up on the stairs. Still sounds like a good thing for a nice day.
P. Oppo
by akasa (score: 0|3) 4015 days ago
I've never been there myself personally, but I have family who live nearby in Ullladulla and Milton, who have been there themselves. I am told it is a fair hike, and thanks to the stairs, I could imagine it would be much easier than what was, say, 20 or more years' ago (I heard it was strenuous enough to almost 'kill' a grown man :)).

Anyway, it is nevertheless a very scenic place to go and hike.
by Colleen Sedgwick (score: 0|6) 3861 days ago
Hi Colleen, 'strenuous enough to almost 'kill' a grown man' is a pretty apt description. It makes me feel a little better about the struggle I experienced here and there along the track! Thanks!
by Heidi McElnea (score: 1|34) 3861 days ago
Like previous comments, I too have climbed Pigeon House Mountain. Boxing Day 1995. There were steel ladders to climb the cliff face then but worth it for the 360 degree views. Relatives have a view of the mountain from their kitchen window in Burrill Lake. We talk about our 'trek' every time we're at the kitchen sink!
by Gloria (score: 2|555) 1749 days ago
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